• How to build a campfire for cooking
• Stoves and ovens for outdoor cooking
• Recipes for campfire cooking
Campfire cooking can be downright civilized.
No matter how spectacular the scenery, meals around the campfire are often the highlight of the camper's day.
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camp stoves and specialized cookware make the cook's job easier, but nothing
beats the taste and appeal of a meal cooked over the campfire. Success
at campfire cooking will encourage you to go camping more often.
days gone by, cooking over an open fire could be taken for granted. Today,
with concerns about air quality, restricted areas for camping and dwindling
firewood stocks in many campgrounds, the freedom to cook over an open fire
is a privilege which requires the utmost in caution and respect. Here are
a few important considerations:
Wood - -Campfire cooking requires a clean-burning, hot fire. This is only achieved with dry, seasoned wood. Stripping trees of green wood is fruitless - your fire will be smoky, will burn poorly and create unnecessary pollution. If dry wood is not available, it will need to be packed in. Many public campgrounds supply firewood - call ahead to see what's available.
Fire location - .Pay close attention to the ground before preparing any fire. In circumstances where building your fire on a rock is not possible, one should ensure that the base of the fire is on bare mineral soil. A fire that is burning all evening has lots of time to burn through the organic layer of the soil and will not be put out with a simple bucket of water. Use previously established fire pits if available, to avoid scarring the area with more fire pits.
- .Any medium to strong
wind is hazardous. The danger of sparks getting away can ignite a forest fire.
Also, the coals will reduce more quickly and provide much less cooking time.
If substantial wind shelter is unavailable, any outdoor fire is out of the
How to Build a Campfire for Cooking
object is to have all the wood turn into coals at the same time. This gives
an even fire with no flames reaching up to burn your food or blacken your
cookware. It also yields the longest cooking time from the coals.
Prepare the site
- Select a fire site at least 8' from bushes or any combustibles. Be sure no tree branches overhang the site.
- Make a U-shaped perimeter using large rocks or green logs. If using logs, they'll need to be wet down from time to time. If breezy, have back of firepit face the wind.
- Put a large flat rock at the rear of the firepit to act as a chimney. The "chimney rock" will help direct the smoke up and away.
Lay the kindling
- Fill the fire area with crumpled paper or tinder.
- Lay kindling over paper in layers, alternating direction with each layer. Use thin splits of wood or small dead branches. Do not put kindling down "teepee style". The whole fire area should be covered with the kindling stack.
- Set a bucket of water near the fire area. Light the paper to start your fire.
Build the fire, grade the coals
- When kindling is ablaze, add firewood. The wood should be all the same size, as much as possible. Use hardwood or hardwood branches if available. Distribute wood evenly over fire bed.
- As soon as the last flames die down leaving mostly white coals, use a stick to push the coals into a higher level at the back end and lower level at the front. This will give you the equivalent of 'Hi', 'Med' and 'Lo' cook settings. Or, level the coals to your preference.
cook, set the grill on rocks or wetted green logs. Put food directly on
grill or in cookware and prepare your meal. If cooking directly on the
grill, a small spray bottle or squirt gun is handy for shooting down any
rogue flames, usually caused by food drippings.
As the fire diminishes, bank the coals to get the most heat from them.
Fire-Safe Ovens and High-Efficiency Stoves for Outdoor Cooking
|If you are unable to have a campfire due to fire restrictions, a solar oven a great alternative. All you need is sunlight, and you can bake, boil or steam without any flame. Another option is an enclosed stove, such as 'rocket stoves', which provide low emission, high efficiency contained fires for outdoor cooking.|
SunOven® - for camp cooking in areas where fires are restricted.
- bakes, boils, or steams any kind of food with the power of the sun
- no fire needed! no fuel needed!
- ideal for everyday use in your back yard, at picnics, while camping, or in the event of a power failure
For more information, click to view our solar ovens for sale
Rocket Stoves - for safe, contained, efficient cooking fires
- burns wood, charcoal or any solid biomass
- super-efficient use of fuel; insulated chamber results in very low emissions
- ideal for outdoor camping, picnics and emergency preparedness
- available in three model options: Dura, Versa and Plancha
For more information, click to view our rocket stoves for sale
Recipes for Campfire Cooking
Simple to make, four basic ingredients, one bowl to wash. This kids' favorite is tasty, nutritious and fun to cook on a stick over the campfire. It can also be cooked in a skillet. Bannock can be a meal in itself.
2 - 3 cups flour
1 - 2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (optional)
2 - 3 Tbsp oil, butter or lard
2/3 cup warm water
Directions: Put everything
but the water in a bowl and mix with your fingers until crumbly. Slowly add
water and mix until dough feels soft. It may seem that you don't have enough
water, but keep working the dough till it holds together. Don't add more water!
Chop, skewer and cook...couldn't be easier! Let the campers cook their own meals - it's a fun activity and much more nutritious than the standard wiener roast.
beef or pork cut into 1" cubes
small whole onions
red or green peppers, whole mushrooms, whole cherry tomatoes
Directions: Brown the cubed meat in a skillet over high heat for 1/2 minute on each side. Cut the peppers in large chunks, leave the other vegetables whole. Slip the pieces onto a skewer, alternating the ingredients. (Skewer the onions and mushroms through the core, or they might fall off while cooking.) Cook over the open fire for 15-20 minutes till done. Sprinkle with grated cheese and breadcrumbs before serving.
This meal pretty much cooks itself - just leave it in the coals! Be sure to count how many potatoes you put in the fire, because the foil becomes covered with ash, and blends in well with the coals.
large baking potatoes
whole onions, red or yellow
dill, parsley, bacon bits
Directions: Slice potato almost all the way through, but leave enough to hold it together. Slice the onion, and put one slice in between each potato slice. Sprinkle with bacon bits and a little dill. Wrap well with heavy aluminum foil and bury in the coals of the fire. Leave untouched for about 45 minutes, and test for doneness by piercing with a fork - the fork should lift out without lifting the potato. Cooking time depends on size of potatoes and strength of fire. Serve with pat of butter and a few sprigs of parsley.
Beer Batter Fish Fillets
If you've had luck fishing, do the catch justice with this simple, mouth watering recipe. Be sure to dry the fillets on the outside so the batter will stick while cooking. Cook over medium heat.
|Ingredients: Allow 1/2
pound fish fillets or two small, cleaned pan fish per person.
.................. 1 cup buttermilk pancake mix
.................. 3/4 cup beer
...................1/4 cup cooking oil
.................. parsley, dill, lemon
Directions: Using a small bowl, blend the buttermilk pancake mix with the beer, using a fork. Whip the batter until smooth and the consistency of heavy cream. Blot the fillets dry using a napkin or paper towel, and dip in the batter. Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the fillets until golden brown on the outside. The meat should be moist and shiny on the inside. Be careful not to overcook - fillet should flake easily when tested with a fork. Serve with a sprinkle of dill and garnish with parsley and lemon slice.
Pan-fried fritters are great for breakfast, and the leftovers keep well for lunch or snacks. You can make your own variations on this simple theme, but remember the secret to successful fritters - the oil must be very hot before setting in the batter.
2 cups corn bread mix
...................1/2 cup water
...................1/2 cup canned corn, drained
...................1/4 cup cooking oil
Directions: Put the corn bread mix in a bowl and, using a fork to blend, gradually add the water. Be careful not to over-blend. The dough should be quite stiff. Add the corn, which should be well drained. Put about one-fourth of the oil in a skillet and heat. Ladle the batter into the hot oil and fry for about 2 minutes, turning once. Serve with syrup, honey or butter. This recipe makes about 12 fritters.
Here's a wonderful method for campfire cooking which is simple, versatile and doesn't even require cookware or a grill. All you need is some heavy-duty tin foil.
Tear off a 12" sheet of foil and fold it back over your fist, making a "pocket". Roll the sides in a few turns so the pocket is only open at the top, and roll a turn or two up from the bottom for extra strength. The pocket needs to be leak-proof, and formed well enough to withstand cooking directly in the coals. If your foil is thin, you may need two layers.
Start by lining the bottom of the pocket with thin slices of lemon. This helps keep the food contents from burning, and imparts flavor to the meal. Chop potatoes and carrots (cut small enough to cook all the way without overcooking everything else), tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, onions, green beans, etc. and stuff the pockets. Add garlic, salt and pepper, olive oil, and a dash of cayenne. Add 1/4 cup of beer or water, fold the top edges of the pocket closed and set directly into the hot coals....it takes anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on how everything's cut. All the veggies slow roast in their own juices!
Jessa, Jen, Lori and Sarah